Cape Day

The deadline for turning in all the gifts for the Adopt-A-Family Christmas project at DH’s workplace was changed from December 17th to the 14th, so last Thursday officially became “Cape Day”!

I used this cape template from Jeanine and Amy’s blog, ‘Serving Pink Lemonade’, and  followed the tutorial for a no-sew fleece cape from Kyra’s blog, ‘Racks and Mooby’, to make a Batman cape for Dylan.

Since he is older than any of the blog writers’ children I decided to make a cape as long possible from my .883 yard (30″) fleece remnant. I also wanted the sides of his cape to flair out toward the bottom instead of going straight up and down, so I measured a 30″ wide piece, instead of the recommended 20″. After folding my fleece vertically, I laid the template at the top with its flat side on the fold.

379 1 - 30" x 30" fleece

Then I laid a yardstick on an angle going from the outside bottom corner of the fleece up to the shoulder curve of the template.

379 2 angled sides of cape

I put in several straight pins so their tips touched the right-hand edge of the yardstick

379 3 pins marking angle

and then cut through both layers of fleece, just to the left of the pins’ tips.

379 4 cut out cape

Batman’s cape has a scalloped hem. I cut mine free-hand,

379 4A bat hem

but you could make a pattern by accordion-folding a 30″ long strip of paper every 5 inches, draw a scallop going from fold to fold, cut on the scallop line through all six layers, and then unfold the strip. Ta-dah –  a Batman cape hem pattern!

For a No-Sew closure, Kyra used a set of 1″x 1″ self-stick Velcro pieces, but I wanted an adjustable neckline, so I hand-sewed a 1″ piece on the back of one neck tab and a piece about 2 1/2″ long on the front of the other.

379 11 velcro sewn on neck tabs

I used Snag-Free Velcro (available at JoAnns). It doesn’t adhere to itself quite as firmly as the old-fashioned kind of Velcro, but I looove that it won’t damage the nap of the fleece or so easily get filled with lint and fuzz.

Almost done – I just needed to add the Batman insignia. I could have cut this simple one out of the scrap of yellow fleece I had dug out of storage for this project, but I preferred this more intricate bat design that I found at the ‘Get Your Craft On!’ blog,

379 5 bat insignia pattern

so I switched to yellow felt, a stiffer more stable fabric. I cut away the bat shape inside with sharp! embroidery scissors.

379 6 cutting out bat

Again Kyra, of ‘Racks and Mooby’, found a No-Sew way. She used permanent fabric glue to attach her felt insignia, but I didn’t have any and wasn’t about to make yet another trip to JoAnns, so I just hand-appliqued mine with embroidery floss. If I was better acquainted with sewing stretchy fleece I might have tried doing it by machine.

379 8 bat with floss

Doing it by hand didn’t take as long as you might think, a little more than half-an-hour is all. I didn’t mind since the rest of the cape was so Fast and Easy!

379 11 appliqued bat and neckline

I finished Dylan’s Batman cape by about 1:30. YAY!

It’s so Cute! The guy modelling it isn’t bad either. lol.

379 11A Batman model

With the rest of the afternoon left, I thought it would alot of fun for Dylan to have two superhero capes, so could share one with a playmate! Thanks to my fabric stash I had both bright blue fleece and red felt remnants handy and quickly repeated the measuring, pinning, cutting and Velcro steps for a Spiderman cape.

Georgia Leigh shares applique patterns for many superhero insignia on her blog, including a beautiful, if intimidating, Spiderman one, here.

379 12 spider pattern

Traditionally the Spiderman spider is black against a red circle. My Pyrex bowl was just the right size to use as a circle pattern for Spidey.

379 13 bowl

It dawned on me that I could cut the intricate spider design out of felt with a utility knife! This was so fast and easy compared to trying to do it with embroidery scissors!

379 14 cutting out Spidey

I cut a slightly smaller circle out of thin black fabric that I salvaged from a used shirt a long time ago. – I might have a box, or two, of salvaged shirt fabrics in the attic, saved for quilt making someday.

379 14A black fabric circle

My stunning spider, ready to be appliqued!

379 15 Spidey patch

I didn’t time myself this time. lol. Why ruin my fun?! Besides, appliqueing this Spidey patch and packaging the capes was all that was left to finishing this special Christmas project.

By the time DH got home I only had the outer edge of the red circle left to sew down. After dinner we took fashion photos. I don’t have a seven-year-old to model my superhero capes, but sometimes I think my guy is seven-years-old at heart. lol.

379 15A Spiderman model

Next we played around with ways to package the capes. I wanted it to be obvious to Dylan what these capes were and for them not to look too ‘Homemade’, if you know what I mean. I ended up folding the capes to fit into gallon-sized ziplock bags with their appliques centered on the front.

DH’s so good at working with digital imaging software! He found both Batman and Spiderman comic book titles on-line and sized them to fit the top of the ziplock bags.

379 16 Spidey - bag ready

He also made ‘Superhero Cape’ cards for me to slip in front of the folded capes.

Ta-Dah! Two beautifully packaged Superhero Capes!!

379 17 two capes

P.S. We’ve received news from someone who knows Dylan’s family. They said his mother was overwhelmed when she came to pick up the carload of gifts! She just lost her job and had only enough money to get candy for the stockings. Although she knew about the Christmas drive, she never really thought that someone would “adopt” her big family with five children and had resigned herself to the idea that it was going to be a bleak Christmas for her kids.

Together we did a very good thing.

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6 Responses to Cape Day

  1. Verneta says:

    Yes, you both (and his company) did a very GREAT thing! Now this is truly what the Spirit of Christmas is about! This mother and her family now have hope. I have tears in my eyes. Making these capes is a great idea for the little boys at Target House. God bless you and your family, Linda. Merry Christmas!

    • You can make your capes as fancy (reversible sewn fabric ones with two superhero logos!) or as simple (no-sew) as you like. Whichever way you go, I know you’ll have fun! Can’t wait to see your version. 🙂

      I found lots of great blog posts about making capes. Here’s one made from an adult t-shirt with directions for making superhero power cuffs! lol.

      Of course, there are capes for girls too! (scroll down to see the Batgirl & Princess versions) – lots of pink and purple, a little tulle, possibly a ruffle?, maybe even a crown!

      Apparently Superheroes are very popular as a birthday party theme!! I have no parties planned, but I enjoyed looking at all these ideas anyway.

      And Merry Christmas to you Too!!

  2. jacekica says:

    It is wonderful Christmas for this family. Children will be so excited, but Mother will have hope for the future after such generous gift from all of you, and Dylan will certainly remember this special Christmas for the rest of his life. Such things are so important, later when he will be grown man he will always have hope for every crisis because of this what you have done for him. And what DH’s co-workers did.

  3. Allyson Gilcrease says:

    I too have tears!! So much love went into these gifts. Both you and your hubby really did an awesome job of making and presenting these gifts. (he makes an awesome 7 year old model, by the way!!!) (((HUG))) to you both for your generosity!

    • We had so much FUN doing the capes! and DH got a kick out of my quick-quick, stand here, turn like this ‘photo shoot’ – too bad we didn’t have time to do something more imaginative and outdoors. I saw one on-line of a boy lying on his side out in a driveway with his arms outstretched so you got the impression he was flying like Superman!! lol.

      Thank you. We (((HUG))) you back.

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